Thursday, July 31, 2014


We all need it. We all think that having more of it will solve all our problems and make us happy. I don't think so. Because too much of anything isn't good for us. Yes, it's nice to have enough, but there's a big difference between having enough and having more than you need. The same could be said about overeating or owning more stuff or working too many hours. Pretty soon these things that are supposed to improve your life or bring you more satisfaction, will turn against you.  

Celebrities usually find this out. At first, having notoriety and wealth is exciting, but I think they soon become bored, and lose their moral compasses. After they'd spent small fortunes on houses, cars, clothes, and entertainment, some of them, maybe most of them, still feel empty inside. And the earlier these people achieve their notoriety, the sooner their lives crash and burn. No, this doesn't happen to all of them, but it happens a lot.

I had a teacher in high school who told us the first day of class, "Moderation is the key to success." She was a wise woman. I think this could apply to what we own and what we want as well. Keep it simple. Try to be thankful for what you have, not discontented with what you don't have.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Technology and the Lost Art of Communication

When you go camping, you notice things you might otherwise overlook. Like when the first star is visible in the night sky. You can even pick out some constellations when you're away from the lights of the city. Right before dark, you might see bats swooping through the air, or hear tree frogs hum a bass chorus.

Not only will you notice more, but you'll do different things than you'd do at home. Instead of texting, playing games or "talking" to people on Facebook, you'll talk to them in person, maybe while you sit around a campfire staring at tall flames. If you camp like we do, you won't have a t.v. to watch, so you'll have to ride a bike, go for a walk, or play an outdoor game, all of which usually involve interacting with other people.

We've forgotten how to communicate with each other, face to face. We're more and more isolated from our friends, neighbors, and family. Just because we sit in the same room, doesn't mean we're spending time together if we're staring at a screen.

Technology is great, but it shouldn't dominate your life. You can't really have a conversation with someone if you can't look into their eyes or read their body language. The written word has limits--it's hard to tell the true emotion behind the words. So do yourself and the people around you a favor: Put down the device that's practically attached to you like an extra appendage, and communicate with your friends and family. You'll be better off, and so will they.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Have To's and the Want To's

When you're young, you pretty much do what you want to with your time every day, but then something happens. You grow up. You acquire obligations. To Do Lists. You have to work. Or maybe you have school work to complete. And so the things you most want to do get pushed to the back of the shelf, behind everything else that's more important, and when you structure your time, there's no room for the "want to's." In fact, they won't even be visible anymore. This is a mistake, in my opinion, because you never forget what used to make you happy, and you'll resent the new responsibilities that have crowded these things out of your life.    

Guilt. You know this voice, right?"You can't __________(fill in the blank) today because you have to go to work, buy groceries, clean the house, do the laundry, do your assignment, mow the yard. . ." The list is endless. You've heard the saying: "Work first, play later." But what if you work all the time, and there's no free time? What if by the time you finish "the have to's" you're too exhausted for the "want to's"? There has to be a balance. Otherwise, you won't be very happy.

I'm not saying you should ditch the demands of life and act irresponsibly. What I'm saying is, don't let daily demands take over every minute of your day and night. How many of us never squander our time? I don't think too many. And the culprit behind this "wasting time" is often because we don't want to do something, so we do nothing.

What if you scheduled time every day to do what you wanted? Maybe then the "Have to's" wouldn't seem so bad. Even a small amount of time could make a difference. Twenty minutes. A half hour. Even an hour. And when the voice of guilt tries to convince you it's wrong to take that time, ignore it. Listen to your inner voice. It's usually right.